Icarus (star)

Icarus is a blue supergiant discovered in April 2018. It is the most distant star ever detected, located 9 billion light-years from Earth .

The light that is currently reaching Earth was emitted 9 billion years ago (4.4 billion years after the Big Bang ).

Its official name is MACS J1149 Lensed Star 1 (LS1) , but it has been nicknamed Icarus , in honor of the Greek mythological character who flew so close to the Sun that the wax on his wings melted.

It is located beyond a cluster of galaxies other than the Milky Way – the galaxy in which our solar system is located -, called MACS J1149 + 2223. [1]

Its redshift (z) is 1.49.


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Discovery
  • 3 Features
  • 4 Sources


An international team of researchers discovered Icarus, the farthest star ever detected, located 9 billion light-years from Earth . The Hubble telescope was the instrument with which the star was discovered, identified by the intensity of its brightness, which took nine billion light years to reach Earth.

In the case of Icarus, the cluster of galaxies that operated with a natural magnifying glass and allowed it to be seen 2000 times brighter is called MACS J1149 + 2223 and is 5000 million light years from Earth (almost half the distance of the star Icarus) .


The discovery of Icarus was made “through the analysis and comparison of the data previously captured by Hubble, we have determined that this new source of light is a star that is located in the same galaxy as the supernova Refsdal”, explained José Diego , researcher at the CSIC (Higher Council for Scientific Research), who works at the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (Spain).

The effect called “gravitational lensing” made it possible to make the discovery of the star.

The finding marked the history of science, as the CSIC (Higher Council for Scientific Research) team used it to reject a theory about dark matter , which says that a good part of it is made up of black holes 30 times larger than Sun.

The research leader at the University of Minnesota (USA), Patrick Kelly, explained in a press release that “we are able to see very distant galaxies, but this star is 100 times farther away than the next individual star that we can study. Except if we count supernova explosions as a star. ‘


It is called MACS J1149 + 2223 Lensed Star 1, but it has been nicknamed Icarus, in honor of the Greek mythological character who flew so close to the Sun that the wax on his wings melted.

Icarus is the most distant star ever photographed, astronomers from NASA and the University of Minnesota (United States) said in an article published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy .

Normally [Icarus] would be too faint to see, even with the largest telescopes in the world. But thanks to a rare phenomenon in nature that tremendously amplifies the star’s faint brightness, astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope were able to locate this distant star and set a new distance record. The phenomenon that allowed us to observe this super-giant blue star housed in a distant galactic cluster is called “gravitational


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